Osang Gwon at NY Photo Festival and Doosan Gallery

Posted in Arario Gallery, Osang Gwon by arariogallery on May 13, 2010

If you’re in New York for the next couple weeks there are two places you can see the photographic sculptures of artist Osang Gwon. NY Photo Festival celebrates the extensive photographic community prevalent in New York with curated pavilions highlighting a vast array of image makers. One pavilion includes Smack Mellon, which presents a show titled Use Me, Abuse Me, curated by Erik Kessels. Four sculptures by Osang Gwon nests alongside artists such as Lucas Blalock, Paul Kooiker and Ruth van Beek. The exhibition reveals how photographers use and manipulate the medium; collecting, copying, pasting, and abusing its original source. The festival runs through Sunday.

Doosan Gallery is proud to present a residency and exhibition of works by the artist, showing through June 5, 2010. The show features four sculptures that is an extension to his series Deodorant Type, many of which were shown at Arario New York. Deodorant Type was developed when Gwon discovered a failed advertisement for a deodorant product launched in Asia, as many Asians do not have perspiration problems, although deodorant is widely used in Western culture. For him, a deodorant product is aimed to cover a scent and to change it into a different odor. He once said, “It implies not showing the exact thing, but transforming it.” Observing the process of Deodorant Type is re-acknowledging the way we see things in life every day. Gwon takes multiple shots of a person or an object from every angle, practically tearing the subject apart in each picture under a microscope; he then recreates the subject in a three-dimensional sculpture. What one actually perceives might only capture a single aspect or a certain moment of the subject. In this sense, each photograph represents a single perception of the subject by taking different angles of the person or object; then, Gwon gathers these photographs into shapes for viewers to interpret, as if reifying the subject back to life as a slightly aloof entit


Osang Gwon in New York Times

Posted in Osang Gwon by arariogallery on December 17, 2009

Faking photographs is almost as old as photography itself, but the digital revolution has opened up vast, hitherto undreamed-of possibilities for making constructed, fictional images look real. It has also expanded the potential of photography and video as forms of artistic expression.

The sheer variety of the application of digital technology in imaginative fields is revealed by an absorbing, sometimes disturbing, exhibition of 23 artists from around the world, “Manipulating Reality: How Images Redefine the World” at the Strozzina Center for Contemporary Culture at the Palazzo Strozzi.

Art photography and video in the past often distinguished themselves from their professional equivalents by a willful level of technical incompetence and amateurism. What is immediately striking about almost all the exhibits on display here are the high-grade production values and slickness of finish. And while much post-modern art has seemed to pride itself on its lack of traditional art skills and its contempt for aesthetics, a significant number of the pieces here have relied on manual dexterity and a developed sense of composition, design and color at some stage in their production. Although the end result may be a digital photograph or video, many of these works have also been labor-intensive.

Read the rest here.

Osang Gwon interview with Artkrush

Posted in Arario New York, Osang Gwon by arariogallery on November 4, 2009

Arario installation 2

Artkrush, the bi-monthly arts newsletter, recently interviewed artist Osang Gwon in response to the show at Arario New York. An excerpt from the article:

I’m commenting on contemporary society, which is filtered through the advertisements of today. My Flat series uses products, such as watches, make-up, and jewelry, that are cut out of magazines, set up with a small wire, and photographed as a massive installation. I see the process as sculptural. There is a play between the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional in both bodies of work.

Read the full article here.

Osang Gwon at Arario New York

Posted in Arario New York, Osang Gwon by arariogallery on November 4, 2009

Arario sculpture 1

From September 10th thru October 24th Arario New York held a solo exhibition of Korean artist Osang Gwon.

Osang Gwon developed and introduced his unique style of photo-sculpture while studying at Hong-Ilk University in Seoul, Korea. Called Deodorant Types, these life-size figures are pink foam shapes that have been covered with thousands of color photographs; Gwon meticulously shoots every inch of his sitter’s clothing, skin and hair while also paying close attention to their facial expressions and postures. The artist primarily depicts the inhabitants of Seoul (where he continues to reside), raising issues of identity that are fundamentally tied to place.

In the space of the exhibition, Deodorant Types form a peculiar landscape of vertical bodies, crouching and prostrate figures, some of which are placed directly on the floor and others atop pedestals—together they create new discourse and, as curator Eric C. Shiner states, forces us to “question the skin we are in.” For Gwon’s 2007 solo exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery, he extended his practice to the United Kingdom by living, working and interacting with the residents of Manchester for a month. The resulting installation was a glossy multi-race mix of figures, some of which will be on view at Arario New York. It was around the time of this residency in Europe that Gwon was selected by the British piano rock band Keane to develop the artwork for their sophomore album, Perfect Symmetry—Gwon began by creating each band member as a Deodorant Type. This commission is one of the artist’s most visible projects thus far.

Gwon’s newest works include a photo-sculpture of the famous Korean fashion model Daul Kim; and his largest Deodorant Type to date that stands at more than 8 feet tall. A few works from Gwon’s Flat series will also be on view. These large-format photographs—chock full of brand name and logo cut-outs from magazines—speak to the saturation of consumerism, especially prevalent in big cities. The Flat Series imparts an image of Seoul that is at once local and global, specific and broad.